A flood of music streaming services
There are a few music streaming services available to Australian listeners – there were two more launched just last week.
These “all-you-can-eat” options mean you can listen to as much music as you want for around $13 a month.
But you don’t actually own the music – it’s not downloaded to your computer or your device. Instead it’s streamed over 3G or wi-fi.
It’s like having your own radio station and being able to play whatever song you want as many times as you want and whenever you want.
There are a few pros and cons for these types of services.
If you’re a collector who likes to download to own then you’d probably stick to the regular digital music services where you can buy individual song or albums as you please.
But the music streaming services have a few upsides.
First, it’s pretty cheap. For less than the price of a CD per month you’ve got access to more than 12 million songs.
Another advantage is the ability to discover new music without penalty. If you take a chance on an artist and buy their CD and don’t like it – you’re money’s already spent and your stuck with an overpriced coaster.
No such risk with the streaming services like Samsung’s Music Hub, Rdio and Rara.com among others. As long as you’re paying that monthly fee – the entire catalogue is at your disposal.
On the downside for the streaming services – the minute you stop paying your monthly fee you’re access evaporates. Even for those services which allow you to download and cache some songs, these disappear as well.
Another downside for streaming – most of the services require an internet connection either over 3G or wi-fi. Not ideal in places when you’re unable to connect – like on a plane.
This constant streaming will also have an impact on your monthly data allowance especially if you’re streaming mostly over 3G.
These are problems the download to own crowd won’t be having.
It’s a little puzzling though to work out how the artists get paid but, according to the major labels who are all involved with these services – Sony, EMI, Universal and Warner – they do.
All we need to do is pay our monthly fees and listen to our hearts’ content.